POLITICS

Donald Trump v. 'Morning Joe' Is The Batman v. Superman Of Tools

Today's winner: nihilism; today's loser: everything else.

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The course of history was changed ― likely not for the first or last time ―  when one wealthy New Yorker said something snide about another wealthy New Yorker’s alleged facelift. Vox ran a piece titled, “It turns out the liberal caricature of conservatism is correct,” confirming the conservative caricature of liberalism. And President Trump will have his first face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin as commander-in-chief. Think of it more as his first employee performance review. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, June 29th, 2017.

[OBLIGATORY ‘DRIP DRIP DRIP’ COMMENT] - Shane Harris: “Before the 2016 presidential election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers. In conversations with members of his circle and with others he tried to recruit to help him, the GOP operative, Peter W. Smith, implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, at the time a senior adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump…. The operation Mr. Smith described is consistent with information that has been examined by U.S. investigators probing Russian interference in the elections. Those investigators have examined reports from intelligence agencies that describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary, according to U.S. officials with knowledge of the intelligence.” [WSJ]

THIS IS JUST WHO HE IS - And if he doesn’t change, Congress will have no choice but to enact his agenda, protect him from investigations, and support his reelection! Sam Levine and Laura Bassett: “President Donald Trump attacked Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Thursday morning, insulting Brzezinski’s physical appearance in two unmistakably sexist tweets…. Trump has a long, storied history of body-shaming and publicly humiliating women.″ [HuffPost]

The misogyny enabler has logged on. “White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday defended tweets President Donald Trump wrote earlier in the day that included a sexist attack on MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski. ‘I think the president has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by members of that program,’ Sanders said, referring to MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’ ‘When he gets attacked, he’s going to hit back.’” [HuffPost’s Paige Lavender]

Speaking of enabling… “A familiar thing happened Thursday morning: President Donald Trump made a stunningly sexist comment about a woman, and the same few Republicans stepped up again to express their disappointment…. If any other president in U.S. history publicly mocked a female reporter’s ‘bleeding’ face, it would cause shock waves in media and politics. But it’s hard to think Trump’s latest tweet won’t just fade out of the news by next week. Republicans are going to get back to work on passing his legislative agenda, and the tepid Twitter condemnations will die down until next time.” [HuffPost’s Laura Bassett]

Even the liberal Fox News: “Fox News strayed from its usual softball coverage of Donald Trump for a few minutes Thursday when a few of its female contributors ripped into the president’s sexist Twitter rant.” [HuffPost’s Hayley Miller]

Remember FLOTUS’ anti- cyber-bullying campaign?

AWFUL THING EVEN MORE AWFUL THAN YOU ORIGINALLY THOUGHT - The particularly awful thing about the DCCC’s alarm-inducing subject lines is that there’s plenty enough out there already that warrants such things. Sam Levine: ”A committee that President Donald Trump convened to investigate voter fraud has begun asking election officials in certain states for registered voters’ names and personal information. The commission, which is formally charged with investigating election integrity, sent a letter to election officials on Wednesday. Members asked officials to provide ‘publicly available voter roll data,’ including the ‘full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.’” [HuffPost]

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HERE COMES THE MUSLIM BAN - Marina Fang and Willa Frej: “Trump administration officials on Thursday announced guidelines for implementing the president’s ban on travel and immigration from six majority-Muslim countries, which the Supreme Court decided to partially reinstate this week…. The ban will go into effect at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday…. The State Department released guidance late Wednesday indicating travelers from the six countries must have a close U.S. family relationship or formal ties to a U.S. entity to be admitted, The Associated Press first reported. Having familial ties ‘does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancés, and any other “extended” family members,’ according to the State Department’s cable.” [HuffPost]

TRUMP WILL TRANSMIT HIMSELF TO VLADIMIR - Or, that time Trump said a bunch of things to Russia’s president and Russia’s president responded, “I know” each time. Margaret Talev and Toluse Olorunnipa: “President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold their first meeting as heads of state during the Group of 20 summit next week in Hamburg. The first in-person meeting of the two men since Trump took office in January will come as relations between the countries are at their lowest in decades. Disputes between the former Cold War rivals continue to simmer over the war in Syria, Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, U.S. sanctions and investigations into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, and possible collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials.” [Bloomberg]

IS ANYONE CONNECTED TO THIS ADMINISTRATION NOT RUNNING A CON? Wendy Dent and Ed Pilkington: ”The lawyer privately advising Donald Trump on the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election is head of a law firm that was involved in the sale of a prestigious piece of New York real estate to Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law, in a deal that could fall under the spotlight of the same inquiry. Marc Kasowitz, a member of the New York bar who has represented Trump in his business dealings for 15 years, was brought on board by the president last month to provide personal legal advice relating to the Russian inquiry now being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.” [Guardian]

Read HuffPost’s Paul Blumenthal on Trump’s foreign entanglements.

SENATORS SOMEHOW SURPRISED THEIR HEALTH CARE CUTS BILL CUTS HEALTH CARE - Trump doesn’t seem to be the only one who doesn’t understand what he’s doing. Robert Costa, Sean Sullivan, Juliet Eilperin and Kelsey Snell: “As Senate leaders feared, the bill’s fate took a turn for the worse Monday, when the CBO released an analysis concluding that the Senate bill would cause an estimated 22 million more Americans to be uninsured in the coming decade — just 1 million fewer than similar legislation passed by the House in early May. A lobbyist close to Senate Republicans said the score was a devastating blow to McConnell. Senators felt they had been ‘sold a bill of goods,’ the lobbyist said, and had expected the Senate bill to have greater distance from the House bill. ‘It knocked the wind out of all the sails,’ said a GOP aide.″ [WaPo]

They still don’t have the votes.

The worm’s eye view of Obamacare repeal. “In rural communities, patients are asking their doctors what they should do when they lose their insurance. Doctors are worrying about their future, too. Here, in their own words, a lawyer, an administrator, a midwife and two doctors describe the effect of the Affordable Care Act and their fears of what the Senate bill would mean.” [HuffPost’s Jason Cherkis]

SO THIS IS INTERESTING - Ellen Mitchell: “The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved an amendment that would revoke a 2001 law giving the president authority to undertake war against al Qaeda and its affiliates unless a replacement provision is created Lawmakers applauded when the amendment was added by voice vote to the defense spending bill, highlighting the frustration many members of Congress feel about the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was initially approved to authorize the response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It has since been used to justify the Iraq War and the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.” [The Hill]

New faces on Team Pence. “Vice President Pence shook up his staff Thursday, announcing that Nick Ayers — the hard-charging Republican operative who served as campaign chairman for Pence’s 2016 vice presidential bid — will become his new chief of staff, starting in August. Ayers will replace Pence’s current chief of staff, Josh Pitcock, who worked for Pence for 12 years, following him from the House to the Indiana governor’s mansion and finally to the vice presidency.” [NYT’s Ashley Parker]

TERRIBLE THINGS TAKING A TOLL ON EVERYONE - Susan Page and Emma Kinery: “How are we feeling? Try ‘alarmed,’ the option chosen by 42% of those surveyed when asked how they felt when they think about how things are going in Washington today. Another 33% feel ‘uneasy.’ Just 11% choose the positive ‘excited.’ The air of angst is bipartisan. Nine of 10 Democrats feel uneasy or alarmed; so do a majority of Republicans.″ [USA Today]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog with a refined musical sense.

TEH FIALING NEW YORK TIMES- Spotted at the rally mentioned below: a sign reading, ’THIS SIGN WSA NOT EDITED.” Andy Campbell: ” In a show of solidarity, employees of The New York Times walked out of their office on Thursday to protest layoffs expected to hit the paper’s copy desk. As part of a 15-minute walkout dubbed a ‘collective coffee break’ by their union, dozens of Times employees facing layoffs and their colleagues marched around the historic paper’s building, chanting, ‘They say cutbacks, we say fight back!’ and ‘No editors, no piece!’ Several Times employees told HuffPost that 109 copy editors were offered buyouts as part of a company plan to cut copy desk staff down to as few as 50 people. That revelation ― along with a bizarre interview process, labeled ‘death panels’ by employees, in which copy editors were reportedly forced to justify their continued employment ― led the desk to fire back at the company in an open letter to Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn on Wednesday.” [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Allergy sufferer trigger warning: What would happen if you held in all your sneezes?

- Nerd alert: Enjoy this dynamic periodic table of elements.

- You had us at ”$10,000 pizza bikini.

TWITTERAMA

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